Studies Overestimate Prevalence of Depression, Article Shows


From The Globe and Mail: According to a new research paper published in CMAJ, many studies provided rates of depression that were exaggerated by two or three-fold, giving doctors and policy makers a distorted picture of the actual demand for treatment and health care resources.

“For their analysis, Thombs and his team reviewed 25 studies, published between Jan. 1 and March 14, 2017, and found the majority of them based their estimates of depression rates on self-reported screening questionnaires, which do not accurately identify individuals who suffer from the disorder. Only two of the studies based their numbers on diagnostic interviews, which are considered more precise.”

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  1. I always find these articles both amusing and disturbing. How can you “overestimate” the number of people who have a “condition” that is entirely based on social assumptions and subjective lists of “symptoms” that have been agreed on by consensus but have no objective, measurable quality whatsoever? You can rate how many hours people sleep, what percentage try to kill themselves, what they eat for breakfast, whether they meditate or not, but you can’t accurately measure “depression,” any more than you can measure “courage” or “hostility” or “tiredness.” It’s idiotic!

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